The meat head in me is breaking the blogging hiatus to put a word in for the world's oldest and greatest sport. When I was little I dreamed of competing as a wrestler in the Olympics. I thought Olympians were true heroes, and that the wrestlers were the best of the best. Now I live that dream vicariously through real athletes, watching from my couch with a mouth full of potato chips. It's the Olympics of Michael Phelps right now. For good reason too. The man is amazing, doing things that have never been done. But, he participates in a sport that gives out medals liberally, and there are other story lines to follow though, so I'll point you to one if you're sick of the five sports that are being shown on NBC prime time. Freestyle Wrestling began last night and I was almost in tears in the middle of the night as I watched Henry Cejudo win a gold medal in a stacked weight in stunning fashion. The kid is amazing.
Tonight we'll get the chance to see a living legend, Russia's Bouvaysa Saytiev (multiple time Olympic Champion and six time World Champion). He is on the tail end of his competitive years, but as I watched him win a barnburner in the Russian Nationals this year it was apparent that he has plenty still left in the tank for one more run in Beijing. In the same weight the U.S. is bringing first time Olympian Ben Askren into the fray. Ben is a funny, thoughtful character who looks to "put the chin in China". I've followed his decorated career through the NCAAs. He's funky and an absolute pleasure to watch. If the two men win their first two matches they will meet in the quarterfinals.
Thanks to technology and NBC's online coverage, you can watch every match live online by going to www.nbcolympics.com and browsing to their live coverage. Tonight wrestling gets started at about 7:30 pm.